A STAGGERING K1 million toll fees have mysteriously gone missing at various toll gates across the country which the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) has failed to account for.
The Auditor General’s report for the financial year ending December 31, 2017 revealed that various vehicles paid for tolls at discount rates at eight stations when they did not qualify for such an incentive.
The report indicates that the agency incurred a loss of about K1, 091,814.00 in that financial year
Speaking when she appeared before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on November 15, 2018, Ministry of Works and Supply Permanent Secretary Agnes Musunga said that “the agency has since instituted investigations to review the transactions on the reported losses to determine the cause of the losses and appropriate action for recovery.”
This is contained in the PAC Report on the NRFA response to the AG’s report on the Accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended 31 December 2017.
Ms Musunga said that NRFA had engaged the systems providers to ensure that the system functions according to set parameters. She said that investigations to ascertain how the funds went missing were on-going and were expected to be concluded by January 31, 2019.
“The application of the frequent user discount is automated and each road user is granted the discount upon qualification.
The agency has further engaged the systems providers to ensure that the system functions according to set parameters and investigations are on-going which are expected to be concluded by 31 January 2019,” Ms Musunga said.
According to the AG’s report, the Frequent Road User Discounts (FUDs) provide for a discount of 25 percent on qualifying motorist applied on the toll of K20 and K40.
It states that for a motorist to qualify, the vehicle must pass through a toll station at least ten consecutive times within a 30 day period, thereafter, such a vehicle shall qualify to pay at discounted rates for a closed period of another 30 days.
The report, however, indicates that 787 vehicles did not pay normal fees at Mumbwa toll station resulting in a loss of K54, 229 and 6, 050 vehicles at Shimabala toll plaza incurring a loss of K378, 855.
It points out that 2, 523 vehicles did not pay required fees at Katuba, resulting into a loss of K195, 800, and 1,416 vehicles at Manyumbi toll gate resulting in a loss of K 327, 210.
Others were Kafulafuta Tollgate with 557 vehicles, leading to a loss of K134, 835 and Chongwe toll gate a loss of K 885 from 15 vehicles.